1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Help me resolve an argument.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Alesia, Aug 25, 2013.

    In the above clip, my friend says the semi doesn't fit where it is. I say it does because it's a stop, but not a full stop, and the second part is a continuation of the first sentence's idea. So.. who's right?
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Even though I can't offer you an exact answer backed up by English punctuation rules, I would personally not use the semicolon. I think a hyphen would be better in this situation. But undoubtedly someone will prove me wrong! :D
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's my understanding a semicolon divides two complete sentences and a comma is used when one part of speech is lacking or it's clearly a clause.

    When I type your sentence into Word, it wants a comma there.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I say it's a comma regardless of what Word says. I think the semicolon is justifiable if you delete the "like" that follows it. As it stands, though, I think it should be a comma.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The semicolon requires that the sentence following it be a complete sentence, and it's not. The semicolon would be permissible if you change it to a complete sentence. For example:

    ; it's like you're floating on a cloud in your own little world where nothing can touch you.

    or

    ; you're floating on a cloud in your own little world where nothing can touch you.
     
  6. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I tweaked it a bit using Thomas' advice on the hyphen.

     
  7. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    This is the rule :)
     
  8. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    I could be wrong, but I think you could actually use a colon there.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think a colon belongs there. It's a comma, I tell you! A comma!

    :D
     
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  10. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    Hehehe. I for one, am a big fan of the in-text colon: an important part of any complex sentence. Grossly underutilised, in my view. Grossly. :p
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sure, it works there. That's fine, and I like it there. But it doesn't belong in place of the semicolon in the original example.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :p
     
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  12. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I just went with the comma in the end...

     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hooray! I love a happy ending. :D
     
  14. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    It's not completely happy. Now she's gloating because she won the argument.
     
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  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as a professional editor of many decades' standing, i agree a comma is the only correct mark there...

    as for the suggestion to use a 'hyphen' that would be totally incorrect, as hyphens are used only for hyphenated words and words broken at the end of line...

    if you are mistakenly calling an 'em dash' a hyphen, while the writer might choose to use an em dash there, as an exercise of author's styling rights, a comma is still the most appropriate mark, imo...
     
  16. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Thank you for correcting me, Maia. :)
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My philosophy on debates are they are a win-win: if you lose the argument you still go away with the prize of new knowledge.
     
  18. Darkjester79
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    Agreed Ginger.
     

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